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Old 01-01-2018, 08:11 PM   #1
pierrot
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Roll Eyes Disappointing wheel bearing service life

In early August of 2015 the left front wheel bearing and hub were replaced. I replaced them last week on Dec. 27, 2017. This bearing began to make noise several weeks ago, but I chose to put off replacing it as there were other repair considerations coming up at home. Finally, it had to be done. What's annoying is that the replacement parts didn't even last for two and a half years, whereas the OE part at the L/F wheel lasted for over 15 years and all of my other bearings are still factory originals!

While following the steps to remove the steering knuckle I had great difficulty in removing the bolt and pinch nut which holds the ball joint onto the knuckle. The factory OE ball joint had been replaced in conjunction with the first bearing replacement (ball joint only, not with a control arm) and so I ended up removing the knuckle with the ball joint remaining attached to it. I took this to my LAPS. The parts store owner and I removed this item jointly. I held the knuckle steady and maintained a box end wrench on the bolt head while he used a breaker bar to loosen the pinch nut. I had attempted to do this at home with similar tools, but couldn't muster the force to fully remove the nut.

I was alerted to a problem with the hub which was removed. The shaft on that one was a full .01 inches narrower than the new part. That's awful! (This could've precipitated the bearing failure, or could've been caused by it - there's no way of knowing for sure.) Clearly, that hub was bad. As it turned out, the old and new hubs were both from Dorman. I was hoping to determine what the brand of the replacement bearing bearing was, but while I could see numbers on the race, I couldn't reckon a brand from it. The folks at the shop who'd performed the first replacement claimed it was Centric Premium. The difference this time is that I've purchased a National brand bearing. Here's to hoping this pairing lasts much longer than the other replacement pair. (FWIW, Centric Premium bearings offer a 90 day/3,000 mile warranty. National offers a 12 month warranty.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20171231_150441 resized.JPG (92.4 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 20171231_150756 2 resized.JPG (99.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg 20171231_150814 2 resized.JPG (89.0 KB, 7 views)

...
298,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 01-01-2018, 08:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Disappointing wheel bearing service life

Continued......

During re-assembly the OE bolt and pinch nut were replaced with a flanged nut (regular) and a flanged head bolt. I used Loctite 24200 on the bolt with the replacement nut since the pinch nut was eliminated. BTW, the OE bolt is 55mm in length. My aftermarket choices to replace that were either 50mm or 60mm long and I chose the 60mm. Interestingly, the bolt head is a 17mm hex, but the nut hex is 18mm. Lastly, the ball joint stud has a concave cut-out which must align with the horizontal bolt holes at the bottom of the steering knuckle, otherwise the bolt cannot pass through to the other side.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20171226_194257 2 resized.JPG (119.8 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 20171226_194351 resized.JPG (130.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 20171231_151042 resized.JPG (142.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 20171231_151127 2 resized.JPG (92.1 KB, 6 views)

...
298,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

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Old 01-01-2018, 10:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Disappointing wheel bearing service life

You damaged the wheel bearings. Or, the shop damaged the wheel bearings.

2-You're a wuss with taking apart things that need brute strength or a combination of leverage and strength.

On a more serious side, I couldn't do half of what you did when I was younger - I didn't develop the one cell between by ears back then so in effect I didn't have any brains and too timid to ask anyone for fear of being yelled at or ridiculed. My first job as a machine mechanic in government forced me to ask a senior person (I was pointed to him by several people) for advice and info. He promptly berated me as a "young punk" then proceeded to teach me what I wanted to know. I had never spoken to him before as he was on the day shift and I was on the evening shift. For whatever reason, I earned his respect immediately, possibly due to asking the pertinent questions to prevent me from causing damage to machinery staffed by seventeen people including one supervisor. I serviced these machines as a mechanic on standby so I knew not to meddle with something unless I have complete knowledge and info before attempting any repairs. My formal training doesn't cover practical experience and I was given this from a senior mechanic. The only other time I can remember being berated was from a senior electronic technician as he was preparing me for a final exam on site after six weeks of one on one intensive preparations in a field of telecommunications and analog computers when dial up telephones were used and a government wide area network was established. He repeatedly could not figure out why I was being trained but knew there was a purpose. He gave me more info than he did to others because of where I was eventually placed. I found out much later how valuable his skills in teaching were as I managed to grow a cell between my ears and ran with the training and diagnostic skills he passed on to me. Two people allowed me to learn what I couldn't learn from others.

We all learn things one way or another. Basic mechanics and practical experience learned from working and observing others allowed me to determine when brute strength is needed or some form of brute strength, leverage and finesse to make work a little easier. The one cell between my ears can't hold much info so I try to use some thought when attacking a problem. When I was a wuss I didn't know sciences well. As I learned to think, I learned to use physics to make up for a lack of eighteen inch biceps and the ability to bench press 450 lbs. Try imagining a pencil necked young man sliding a 450 lb machine on four three inch diameter steel discs that are adjustable to level this machine, feet, on hard ground. Science began to teach me how to make work easier.

No one can determine when bearings fail, not even the manufacturers. They fail when they feel like it. As you found out, some bearings last forever while others fail in a short amount of time. There is a science to pressing in bearings to ensure undue forces won't create a slight indentation to inner/outer races and steel balls to create a condition for future failure. Heat, cold, vibration and lack of lube contributes to bearing failure. Sealed bearings are only as good as when they were manufactured and then installed carefully to ensure long term reliability. If I were employed by NASA, they would probably fire me for gross incompetence...........There's so much to know and little time to use what's learned. If I don't reply in coherent words, it just may be that I already lost the info and can only write a few sentences. I blame it on the one cell between my ears. It doesn't hold much.

BTW, Happy New Year!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wheel bearing.JPG (171.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg wheel hub with inner bearing race.JPG (179.0 KB, 7 views)

Last edited by fdryer; 01-01-2018 at 10:34 PM..

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Old 01-01-2018, 11:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Disappointing wheel bearing service life

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
You damaged the wheel bearings. Or, the shop damaged the wheel bearings.

2-You're a wuss with taking apart things that need brute strength or a combination of leverage and strength.
Well, fdryer, there are "crosses" we all have to bare in this life! Clearly, you've revealed one of mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
On a more serious side, I couldn't do half of what you did when I was younger -
Ah, my friend, I suspect you've over rated me and under rated yourself here. I wasn't so good when I was younger, but I've sorted some things out as time - lots of time - has gone by. I owe many thanks to my father for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
BTW, Happy New Year!
Mille Grazie, Signor!!

Relative to the photos you attached with marks and commentary, you are correct. Part of the bearing race remained on the hub shaft when the bearing was removed. I was told that if I wanted to reuse that hub that it, too, could be removed without much trouble. (Naturally, that was out of the question.) It's not uncommon for these types of bearings to become separated to some degree when they're being pressed off of the hubs.

...
298,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 01-01-2018 at 11:54 PM..

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Old 01-02-2018, 11:32 AM   #5
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Disappointing wheel bearing service life

I feel your pain Pierrot. Last Spring, I took 2 complete hub assemblies to a shop to have new bearings pressed in. These were spare assemblies pulled from a JY to make it a simple R & R.

One of the assemblies was good, the other made a tiny amount of noise but still usable. I decided to just go ahead and replace the bearings on both so there would be no issues. ( I also used National Bearings)

The shop that I used allowed me to assist. It became very evident how easy it would be to damage a bearing or the hub unless you were very careful to make sure the bearing was properly supported while being pressed.

This took some time. Something that many shops just don't do.

Hopefully, your new bearing will give you long service.

...
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Disappointing wheel bearing service life

Thank you for your comments, rb6667! I agree with you and fdryer that the skill of the person performing the press work is critical to a successful repair here. One thing I'd forgotten to mention was that while the bearing noise was increasingly louder, it seemed that there was some drag on acceleration, and speed couldn't be maintained as easily. So I checked the RPM at 65 mph and it was 2500 RPM then. After the bearing replacement it dropped by 100 to 2400 RPM.

...
298,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 01-02-2018 at 04:31 PM..

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Old 01-02-2018, 05:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Disappointing wheel bearing service life

About a year ago I drove to New Jersey for a day trip and found my front right brake overheating to the point I couldn't leave my hand on the aluminum rim, it was too hot from the caliper sticking, brakes dragging. Apparently I wasn't good enough to service my brakes adequately. Somehow I was able to stop by a gas station and worked the brakes to release it to get home. I examined the caliper, forced the piston back some and lubed the slide pins to allow normal brake actions. Almost a year later when I went to replace pads, the caliper piston wouldn't retract. It seized from a damaged piston seal. Replaced the caliper. It wasn't the slide pins and lack of lube. The piston seized from a ruptured seal allowing water or moisture into the piston. Time did the rest. I should have paid more attention to brake servicing.

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